Franklin Christmas Festival
Franklin is a small village with a big heart.
And an enthusiasm for celebration that outshines bigger towns with deeper municipal pockets.
On Friday December 18th the annual Christmas parade and festival kicked off with a children’s parade along the foreshore.
The small but noisy parade featured a multi-legged Chinese Dragon, accompanied by banging saucepan lids to scare off any lurking evil spirits.
Fire engines (always a central feature of Huon Valley Christmas celebrations), kids pedalling tinsel-wrapped bikes, and even a mini-parade of ducks came together for a unique expression of Christmas exuberance.
While it is customary in the Huon Valley for Santa to ride on the back of a fire engine (although lolly throwing is now banned due to health and safety regulations), the organising team, led by Sarah Swanson, embraced the river culture of Franklin and threw tradition to the wind.
Heralded by Franklin’s Little Boat Choir, a second parade travelled to the Village Green that evening: a Christmas parade on water.
And so the excitement was building:
Children, carols, tinsel… Only one thing was missing. Or rather one person.
Back at the Living Boat Trust shed the spirit of Christmas was being imbibed and the man himself was preparing for a grand entrance.
Dispensing with the reindeer, Santa enlisted the help of some angelic beings, and a particularly cheery Christmas elf. The angels (who masquerade for most of the year as the crack rowing team from the Women on Water) ferried Santa to his fans in their St Ayles Skiff Billie.
So with Santa safely on his throne and in the care of dedicated elves the community of Franklin relaxed and enjoyed the entertainment provided by the Huon Valley Society Orchestra and the Little Boat Choir.